David Foster Wallace once said, “Slap me silly, banana man, these church bells aren’t going to ring themselves around my finger!” I never quite understood what those words I put into his mouth meant until this past weekend when my wife left me in the lobby of C2E2 ’20 to a man dressed as Dr. Manhattan (Doomsday Clock).
Love is a word thrown around a lot in nerd culture.
“I love Marvel.”
“I love Joker.”
“I love Deadpool.”
“I love. My wife?”
These were actually all said by me. My wife was like me, into Funko Pops. We shared common interests, which is why I let her use my Disney+ Universe account, and she let me use her DC Universe account.
We met at a convention (C2E2 ’19). I dressed as Starlord, because Endgame (Avengers) was going to come out and I never identified with a character this much since Shadow or Ron (HP not P&R.) I liked his gusto, and she liked mine. She dressed as a cool nerdy chick; even had the glasses. She wasn’t wearing a costume, so I decided not to wear one either and approached her.
“Why did you take your clothes off before walking up? Who wears cargo shorts as underwear? What, no don’t take them off too! Just stop.”
Those were the first things she ever said to me, and it was all downhill from there.
We split a $26 pretzel; we took turns licking the cup of $6 cheese dip. We shared our interests. She liked comic book movies: I liked comic book movies. But it went past that because we also liked anime and Star Wars. I was in love, which is very easy for me because I practice.
After the fifth foreplay, I asked her to move in with me for the rent. Her dad helped her move the day we had the midnight screening for Far From Home (Spider-Man.) Both our families were very excited that we won’t die alone. They bought us furniture but we sold it for the space. We had two walls in the living room, two walls in the bedroom, and a single wall in the bathroom filled with Funko Pops. The boxes in the bathroom started to sag and sog from the humidity, so eventually we had the Funko Pops moved around the television wall.
Things were good for a while so we got married, because our parents asked. We wanted an Inhumans themed wedding but we only had ‘Maybe’s on the rsvp and our parents didn’t want to dress up. I still dressed as Blackbolt. We got in a fight because I couldn’t say ‘I do’ during the ceremony and kept nodding. We had angry sex that night. I wasn’t mad, so I guess only one of us had angry sex. We didn’t dance, but we could make out the Disney remix songs we made the DJ play exclusively in between the his and hers grunts coming from our room at the Marriot.
We fell apart a month in, marriage changed us and not like the Netflix movie with Kylo Ren and the Black Widow are in that I haven’t seen. She said all we did was watch Marvel movies, which wasn’t true because we also watched Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Jojo, and My Hero Academia. I tried spicing it up and got highlights in my hair. I knew it was a bad idea when the colorist kept asking if I was really 38. My wife freaked out and told me I looked like a pervert. I showed her how cool it looked on the writer of my Venom comics. She said I looked like Hulk Hogan with my wispy blond doll strands. I throw my Venom comics in the trash and cried in the bathroom. Thank god, we moved the Funko Pops else they would have definitely gotten soggy that night.
The only times we got along was at Conventions where we saw new movie announcements and collectibles. It felt like that was the real us and the 300 and 50 somethings other days were not the real us. The excitement with being around so many nerds and merch made us belong. It didn’t matter that we never made any friends from the familiar faces and no matter how many times we paid to be pictures with the celebrities, Paul Rudd would not ask us to hang out with him. Just being near our comforts brought us and our hearts out of our shells. I wouldn’t say the conventions were a distracting us from a larger problem, no.
Then came the end of last year. We were so distracted with adulating and working, we stopped talking outside of asking each other what to eat and watch. We agreed to put in the effort and watch a movie in the theaters. My wife never got around to seeing the Joker and was very excited, but I had already seen it that day of her accident before I went to the hospital. We hadn’t gone to a convention in a while at that point, and we were feeling it. We only ever had each other. And my parents. Walking up to the ticket booth filled me with anxiety. Each step to Joaquin, was another step in dismay. I already saw Joker! I wanted Star Wars! I waited my whole life for this. Well, I waited a while.
I ran away. I left her in the lobby and saw Star Wars: Rise of the Skywalker dressed as the Joker. It was terrible. It hit me in between Palpatine coming back and going away, that I realized I was the fool. Dressed appropriately. After the police were done questioning me for my attire, I came home to her on the couch.
She asked me if I ate, I told her I had some Craisins. She asked me if I wanted to watch the Mandalorian. I already saw it, I said yes. We sat on the ends of the couch. I never took off the Joker makeup that night. Later that night we had sex, but it was different. Impassionate, there was so much white face makeup on her tiddies.
Sitting there under the hue of the bug zapper hanging by the open window, I realized I needed to change, I wish I could go back in time and treat my wife better. I knew that wasn’t possible, but I could do the next best thing. I took up powerlifting.
Three days a week, I went. I learned discipline and meal prep. I was able to channel my addictive obsession from toys to lifting and this made me feel good. I know she started to notice because I bought a long mirror exclusively to take progress shots on my phone every time I came home from lifting. Which was three days a week.
Sex still sucked, but with my stamina it sucked for longer. We didn’t talk about it ever, but I could tell she was starting to feel something. She told me I couldn’t bring the long mirror into the bedroom.
The time came in January when she asked me if I wanted to cosplay with her. This was the first thing we’ve talked about outside of food and movies. I stopped watching Crunchyroll and even Disney+, I couldn’t bring myself to watch them and not be reminded of Star Wars: Rise of the Skywalker being so bad and also leaving my wife. I asked her as who, and she said that it wasn’t Marvel. I gulped. She said she wanted to be Superman. I asked then who was I, Batman?
Looking me in the eyes, she said she wanted me to be Dr. Manhattan (Doomsday Clock.)
I love comics, but I don’t read most of them. For this, though, I had to read about this Watchmen and DC crossover. It was bad, this wasn’t as fun and dreary as the Marvel Movies. But I swallowed my nerd pride and went ahead and read it. Was this the Snyder Cut everyone keeps talking about? It was so stupid, but I knew what I had to do.
I went to lift. I lifted my spirits and resolved that my parents want me to patch up with my wife. As I looked at my wispy highlighted hair in the mirror at the gym, I realized I needed to ascend from being a Marvel fanboy and into something greater.
That night, I shaved my head and my pubes. I already shave my chest because it grows in patches. I had my parents shave my back because lifting has ruined my reach. I stole some cardboard behind a Sbarro’s and made myself some triangular underwear.
I told her I would meet her at convention center. I was wearing my outfit. I waited for 2 hours because I didn’t read her text correctly. When she saw me, though, she stopped.
“Why are you wearing cargo shorts?”
“Because the cardboard I used for Dr. Manhattan was too greasy and tore.”
“You can see my penis.”
We went inside the center holding hands, and as we walked past a glass of statues of Harley Quinn, I saw a man I did not recognize. He was blue with no highlights. He was buff sexy and had several handfuls of almonds in the pockets of his cargo shorts. This was no longer me.
Now for the biggest losses and wins at C2E2 ’20:
(Loss) 5. Marvel
Thor can’t use his hammer.
(Win) 5. Marvel
Ultraman written by a white man.
(Loss) 4. Marvel
They spelt Empyre wrong on everything.
(Win) 4. DC
Jim Lee is now Boss Hog!
(Loss) 3. DC
Titans still exists.
(Win) 3. Marvel
X of Swords.
(Loss) 2. Marvel
That’s way more than 10 swords.
(Win) 2. Marvel
Turns out they spelt Empyre like that on purpose.
(Loss) 1. DC
Pregnant Catwoman fetish arc
(Win) 1. Indie